What is the difference between Logos and Rhema?
If you have been in Christian circles for a little time, you’d have heard the word rhema used. If you have read a number of Kenneth Hagin’s books or listened to any faith teaching, you definitely should have heard the word being used. Have you ever wondered what the difference between logos and rhema was?
Personally, while I was in campus fellowship, we used rhema to refer to when someone gives a ‘deep’ interpretation of a scripture or said something with a ‘deep’ meaning.
I was studying my bible this morning on the topic of faith, intending to study Romans 10. While studying, I came upon the word rhema used in Romans 10:17 – So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
The Greek & Hebrew rendering of the above verse is;
So then ara <ara> faith pistiv <pistis> cometh by ek <ek> hearing akoh <akoe>, and de <de> hearing akoh <akoe> by dia <dia> the word rhma <rhema> of God yeov <theos>. (KJV)
I was curious about what the word rhema meant thus, I embarked on a study of it and I plan to share my findings with you today.
How Rhema and Logos are used in the Bible
The word <logos> and <rhema> are both (mainly) translated into Word in the New Testament. Logos was used in 316 verses while <rhema> was used in 67 verses in the New Testament. Here are some examples;
Matthew 7:24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings <logos> of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock
Mark 4:14 The sower sows the word <logos>.
Luke 5:1 So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word <logos> of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret
John 18:32 that the saying <logos> of Jesus might be fulfilled which He spoke, signifying by what death He would die.
Acts 6:7 Then the word <logos> of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.
Mark 14:72 A second time the rooster crowed. Then Peter called to mind the word <rhema> that Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” And when he thought about it, he wept.
Luke 3:2 while Annas and Caiaphas were high priests, the word <rhema> of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness
John 14:10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words <rhema> that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.
Acts 11:14 who will tell you words <rhema> by which you and all your household will be saved.
John 6:63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words <rhema> that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
From the above examples, we can see a distinction: Logos is a word (spoken/written) given generally while Rhema <rhema> is a word (spoken/written) given specifically.
Definition of Rhema and Logos
The definitions of both words are;
Rhema – an utterance (individually, collectively or specially),; by implication, a matter or topic (especially of narration, command or dispute); with a negative naught whatever:–+ evil, + nothing, saying, word.
Logos – something said (including the thought); by implication, a topic (subject of discourse), also reasoning (the mental faculty) or motive; by extension, a computation; specially, (with the article in John) the Divine Expression (i.e. Christ):–account, cause, communication, X concerning, doctrine, fame, X have to do, intent, matter, mouth, preaching, question, reason, + reckon, remove, say(-ing), shew, X speaker, speech, talk, thing, + none of these things move me, tidings, treatise, utterance, word, work.
In my research I came across a book by Bill Hammon titled Prophets and Personal Prophecy, God’s prophetic Voice Today. In this book he explained both words thus;
The logos is the general word of God that communicates his ability to do something or his general will on a matter while a rhema is the word the Holy Spirit quickens to a specific person for a specific situation. He used various analogies to describe this relationship and some are – the logos is a well of water while the rhema is a bowl of water from that well, the logos is a piano keys while the rhema is a single key playing, a logos is the entire body while the rhema is one part in operation. The logos & rhema are always in alignment with one another. Of note is this statement that the Rhema could be a scripture or a word spoken to you by someone or quickened directly into your heart.
What does Rhema & Logos do for you as a Christian today?
The bible tells us in 2 Timothy 2:15 to study to show ourselves a workman who rightly uses the word <logos> of truth. This means that your right application of the scriptures would come from a right understanding of it.
Thus, what are the practical ways to use your new founded understanding of rhema and logos?
- Know the Word <logos>! – How familiar are you with the word of God? Remember the logos is the well; if you don’t know where the well is how would you be able to take a bowl of water out of it?
William Edwy Vine’s An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words that explains that the <rhema> is “the individual scripture which the Spirit brings to our remembrance for use in time of need, a prerequisite being the regular storing of the mind with scripture“.
If you find it hard to get God’s will on a matter or hear from God, it may because you don’t have a regular relationship with the word <logos>.
- Get the rhema of God on a matter – there are some issues that are clear cut in the scriptures such as stealing, bribery, fornication etc. but there are countless number of situations where we need to have God’s perspective. In these times, don’t just do what makes sense for you in the moment but press for a revelation of God’s specific word to you, his rhema for that moment.
In closing, let’s look at further scriptures that give us guidelines concerning our use of the rhema
Romans 10: 17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word <rhema> of God.
Faith for something comes from the word God has revealed/quickened to you personally. That’s why 2 people may hear the same sermon and 1 comes away with faith and the other doesn’t.
2 Cor 13:1 This will be the third time I am coming to you. “By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word <rhema> shall be established.”
Every rhema you have gotten must be confirmed by 2 witness. This doesn’t necessarily mean people, it could mean a witness of the word or of peace etc. but there is no standalone word of God.
Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word <rhema> of God
The sword we use in spiritual warfare is a specific word given for that situation and not just general warfare scriptures. Thus, in a time of personal battle, we need to approach God for a revelation of his <rhema> for that time. My pastor shares a story of a women with a leg disease that required amputation. General healing scriptures are popular and common but when this woman prayed on the matter God quickened Psalm 121:3a He will not suffer thy foot to be moved to her. That scripture is not categorized as a healing scripture, but the woman secured her healing with that scripture.
I hope this article blessed you and taught you something.
I pray that God blesses and increases your understanding. I pray for divine revelation for rhemas in whatever situation you may be in right now in Jesus Name.
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